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The Informal Letter



 
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ESL Forums | English Vocabulary, Grammar and Idioms
"I'm being serious" vs "I'm being tired" | is it progressive?
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The Informal Letter #1 (permalink) Fri Mar 14, 2008 16:48 pm   The Informal Letter
 

Hi,
I have a task to write an informal letter to my friend. I wrote it and ask you to check it stern. Please find all mistakes you can (grammar, vocabulary, spelling, style, use of language etc.). I ask you to be extremly strict with this letter cause better to find mistakes now, than on exam.
TIA, Jane. :D Here is my letter:

-----

Apartado 134,
141551 Almansa,
Spain
5/8/2008

Dear Lina,
I was glad to read your letter and I am sorry I did not write you so long but I had not such opportunity. As I promised you I write about my weekend in this letter.
This weekend became a journey as usual. On Saturday we packed up our things, got into the car and went to the Seliger. It is a lake in the Tver region, which is a very picturesque place. There is no highway, no civilization, no shops, bars, cars and others features of the big city. Here you can smell fresh air, feel the calmness, see the snow eventually.
At nine o'clock in the morning we met up with our friends and drove. The road took us about six hours; we drove through three hundred kilometers and when we were almost there – holly cow! – Our friends on their car met with an accident! The guy who was the driver was no able to make it and the car with two passengers on board was in the comb. The first few seconds there was a breathless silence. I was desperately afraid for my friends who were locked in the car. Then I hear a creak of the door and saw my friend. She and her husband were in a whole skin. The next problem was how to get the car out of the comb, because it was buried in the snow. Seeing our condition, my husband got the spade from his car and without a moment's hesitation started to dig. We were digging, cutting the branches, pushing and hauling the car and after three hours we got it out! There were a lot of dents in the car, scratches etc. but it still can pull and after fifteen minutes we were in loco. Our house was beautiful and comfortable and situated in the forest. We packed out our things, laid a fire, prepared supper on a fresh air and had a wonderful evening.
The next morning we had a breakfast and went to inspect the surroundings. There a lot of places to see. I have not seen so much snow for a long time, it is everywhere, it is blind and it is definitely white! We were playing, walking…and we were resting! In spite of all it was a great time, a great company and a great weekend! =)
Love,
Jane.
Vishnya
You can meet me at english-test.net


Joined: 06 Mar 2007
Posts: 50

The Informal Letter #2 (permalink) Fri Mar 14, 2008 20:15 pm   The Informal Letter
 

Hi Vishnya,

Thanks a lot for posting your letter. I hope it will be OK for you if we look at it one sentence or so at a time.

Vishnya wrote:
Dear Lina,
I was glad to read your letter and I am sorry I did not write you so long but I had not such opportunity.

I was glad to read your letter and I'm sorry I haven't written back to you earlier.

Vishnya wrote:
As I promised you I write about my weekend in this letter.

As promised I'll write to you about my weekend in this letter.

Vishnya wrote:
This weekend became a journey as usual.

Please rewrite this sentence. A weekend can't become a journey. You can take a journey on the weekend.

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The Informal Letter #3 (permalink) Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:59 am   The Informal Letter
 

Hi, Torsten. Thanks for help. But is it all mistakes? :shock:
Vishnya
You can meet me at english-test.net


Joined: 06 Mar 2007
Posts: 50

The Informal Letter #4 (permalink) Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:25 am   The Informal Letter
 

Hi,

I have made some suggestions in capital letters:

Quote:
I was glad to read your letter and I am sorry (I HAVEN'T WRITTEN TO YOU FOR SUCH A LONG TIME)I did not write you so long but I had not such opportunity(BUT I HAVEN'T HAD A CHANCE). As I promised you (AS PROMISED I AM GOING TO write about my weekend in this letter.
(AS USUAL)This weekend became (TURNED INTO/ENDED UP AS) a journey. On Saturday we packed up our things, got into the car and went to the Seliger. It'S a lake in the Tver region, which is a very picturesque place. There is no highway, no civilization, no shops, bars, cars and others(OTHER) features of the big city. Here you can smell fresh air, feel the calmness (AND EVENTUALLY) see the snow.
At nine o'clock in the morning we met up with our friends and (STARTED OUR DRIVE)drove. The (JOUNEY BY) road took us about six hours; we drove OVER three hundred kilometers and when we were almost there – holy cow!(GOOD GRIEF!) – Our friends In their car met with an accident! The guy who was (DRVING) WASN'T able to make it and the car with two passengers on board was in the comb ????. The first few seconds there was a breathless silence. I was desperately afraid for my friends who were locked in the car. Then I hearD a DOOR creak and saw my friend. She and her husband were UNSCATHED. The next problem was how to get the car out of the comb???, because it was buried in the snow. Seeing our condition, my husband got A spade from his car and without a moment's hesitation started to dig. We were digging, cutting the branches, pushing and hauling OUT the car and after three hours we got it out! There were a lot of dents in the car, scratches etc. but it WAS still WORKING and after fifteen minutes we were ON OUR WAY. Our house was beautiful and comfortable and situated in the forest. We UNpacked our things, laid a fire, prepared supper IN THE fresh air and had a wonderful evening.
The next morning we had breakfast and went to INVESTIGATE the surroundings. There WERE a lot of places to see. I have not seen so much snow for a long time, it is everywhere, it is blindING and it is definitely white! We were playED, walkED ..and we RELAXED! In spite OF EVERYTHING it was a great time, great company and a great weekend! =)
Love,


I can only imagine your word 'comb' should be 'snowdrift'? or 'ditch'?

Alan
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The Informal Letter #5 (permalink) Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:05 am   The Informal Letter
 

Alan, thanks for your help. I have read your remarks and agree with you at all points except some of them. Can you explain your decision?

1) There is no highway, no civilization, no shops, bars, cars and others features of the big city. Why I can't use 'others'?

2) and when we were almost there – holy cow!-. Your variant was 'good grief!' Is 'Holy cow' a vulgar phrase?

3) and after fifteen minutes we were ON OUR WAY. I meant we have already been in health resort but not drivivng to it.

4) We were playing, walking.... Your variant was 'We were playED, walkED ..and we RELAXED'. I am at a loss! First of all why don't you like past continious? And if so, why do you use 'were played'. Maybe it is a misprint?

5) Comb is my mistake. You were right. I meant coomb, but ditch I like more.
TIA, Jane.

:roll:
Vishnya
You can meet me at english-test.net


Joined: 06 Mar 2007
Posts: 50

The Informal Letter #6 (permalink) Tue Mar 18, 2008 13:04 pm   The Informal Letter
 

Hi,

'Other' is used here as an adjective and the plural stays with the noun 'features'. 'Holy cow' seemed a bit too violent for me! 'On our way' - my misunderstanding Perhaps: We had arrived/reached our destination. Clearly I left out the bracket and it should read: We were (WE PLAYED ..... The past continuous really needs to be linked to another verb somewhere in the past simple - 'while we stayed there' perhaps.

Alan
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The Informal Letter #7 (permalink) Tue Mar 18, 2008 13:53 pm   The Informal Letter
 

Well, thanks again. But I really can't understand about Past Continious. :(
Vishnya
You can meet me at english-test.net


Joined: 06 Mar 2007
Posts: 50

The Informal Letter #8 (permalink) Tue Mar 18, 2008 14:37 pm   The Informal Letter
 

Hi,

Sorry about that - I'll have one more go. To me the past continuous is essentially a background tense and there is often an expectation that in the middle of the background 'was walking' or whatever something happened. Perhaps I would rephrase your sentence by saying: We spent the/our time playing, walking and relaxing.

How about that?

Alan
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The Informal Letter #9 (permalink) Tue Mar 18, 2008 15:00 pm   The Informal Letter
 

Well, now It's clear. :)
TIA, Jane.
Vishnya
You can meet me at english-test.net


Joined: 06 Mar 2007
Posts: 50

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